Dodgers Shore Up Outfield Defense With Signing

The Los Angeles Dodgers are apparently trying to fill the defensive void left by the non-tendering of center fielder Cody Bellinger, with the signing of free agent defensive whiz Bradley Zimmer. 

It's a minor league deal for Zimmer, who was once known as one of the majors top prospects. But as his career has unfolded over the last six years, it's become apparent that his glovework and his speed are his specialties, and not his bat. 

Zimmer, 30, has spent time with the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Guardians, posting a career average of .213 with a .631 OPS. His high-water marks in the league came during his rookie season in 2017, when he hit .241 with a .692 OPS and stole 18 bases for Cleveland. All his offensive stats have continued to dip since then. He has a career OPS+ of 71, meaning he's about 30% worse than average. 

But he can go and get it with the best of them out in center field, and has been used primarily as a defensive replacement in recent years. His speed was in the top 7% of all players in 2022, and top 3% in 2021. He's also produced 14 outs above average as a center fielder. It's a nice depth piece for the Dodgers to shore up the outfield defense. 

Photo: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports